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The Beacon Break through

One-to-one customer relationships have been a two-decade-long effort, but thanks to consumers’ rapid adoption of smartphone technology, that dream is getting closer to a reality. By merging beacon technology with mobile apps, retailers now have a new way to engage customers, personalize the shopping experience and drive sales.

Based on their promise to fundamentally change the way retailers connect with shoppers, beacons are causing a stir. The low-power, micro-location gadget — no bigger than the size of quarter — uses Bluetooth technology to transmit signals to mobile devices. When combined with dedicated mobile apps, beacons can create an indoor mobile positioning system that promises to bolster retailers’ customer engagement strategies. Continue reading

UK shopping centre introduces beacons

A shopping centre on the South Coast in England has becomes the first in the UK to use the new Bluetooth Low Enegergy (BLE) beacon technology that enables retailers to acknowledge customers’ presence and deliver targeted ads. The roll out of the technology is in The Swan Centre in Eastleigh which shoppers inside the centre to receive discount offers from retailers straight to their phones – without having to open an app or browse a website.

The service has been developed by UK based tech startup TagPoints. Using Beacon technology, the company has incorporated its unique ‘TagBeacons’ platform into The Swan Centre’s popular white-labelled ‘SmartRewards’ app.

Along with a welcome message, customers entering the centre receive 10 points to their loyalty account (which can be used in conjunction with merchant discount offers). As more TagBeacons are installed throughout the centre, they will receive retailer-specific promotions. The frequency and targeting of these messages with be carefully controlled to ensure no single customer is bombarded with messages. The focus is on delivering a relevant message to the consumer while boosting merchant sales. The TagBeacon solution also helps shopping centres and their clients accurately measure footfall figures in real-time. TagBeacons can also be used for non-promotional activity like way-finding and customer service. Continue reading

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